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The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of American Fiction and Nonfiction on the War
     

The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of American Fiction and Nonfiction on the War

by Stewart O'Nan (Editor)
 

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The Vietnam Reader is a selection of the finest and best-known art from the American war in Vietnam, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, still photos, and popular song lyrics. All the strongest work is here, from mainstream bestsellers to radical poetry, from Tim O'Brien to Marvin Gaye. Also included are incisive reader's

Overview

The Vietnam Reader is a selection of the finest and best-known art from the American war in Vietnam, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, still photos, and popular song lyrics. All the strongest work is here, from mainstream bestsellers to radical poetry, from Tim O'Brien to Marvin Gaye. Also included are incisive reader's questions—useful for educators and book clubs—in a volume that makes an essential contribution to a wider understanding of the Vietnam War.

This authoritative and accessible volume is sure to become a classic reference, as well as indispensable and provocative reading for anyone who wants to know more about the war that changed the face of late-twentieth-century America.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Edited by Stewart O'Nan, The Vietnam Reader presents an authoritative collection of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, photography, and popular song lyrics depicting the war in Vietnam. From Tim O'Brien, Ron Kovic, and James Webb to Bruce Springsteen and Marvin Gaye, this wide-ranging compilation includes "selections that will give the reader both an essential overview and a deep understanding of how America has seen its time in Vietnam over the past thirty years."
Kirkus Reviews
O'Nan, himself the author of a well-received novel about the struggles of a Vietnam vet to readjust to civilian life (The Names of the Dead), has compiled a lengthy, varied, and somewhat idiosyncratic anthology of fiction and nonfiction by American writers about the war and its aftermath. The book was inspired, he notes in his preface, by his discovery that there was no wide-ranging compilation on the subject. O'Nan's selections, primarily excerpts from full-length works, include fiction by Tim O'Brien (Going After Cacciato, The Things They Carried), James Webb (Fields of Fire), Larry Heinemann (Paco's Story), Stephen Wright (Meditations in Green), and John Del Vecchio (The 13th Valley), plus excerpts from memoirs by Robert Mason (Chickenhawk), Ronald J. Glasser (365 Days), and Michael Lee Lanning (The Only War We Had). O'Nan also includes the lyrics of a variety of period songs ('The Ballad of the Green Berets,' 'Born in the USA'), critical summaries of films about the war, and some poetry. His adroit notes point out some of the most salient features of this literature (the relative neglect of the Vietnamese experience of war; the evolution of the American soldier protagonist from hero to cynical survivor; the persistent attempt to puzzle out what the war tells us about our society and government), and a glossary, bibliography, and chronology further help set the work in context. While the inclusion of more less-familiar writers would have been welcome, this is nonetheless a powerful, deeply revealing collection, and the best available introduction to a major body of modern American literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385491181
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1998
Pages:
736
Sales rank:
617,811
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

In 1996, the literary magazine Granta named Stewart O'Nan one of America's best young novelists -- an honor he has continued to justify in an impressive body of complex and stylistically diverse fiction.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Avon, CT
Date of Birth:
February 4, 1961
Place of Birth:
Pittsburgh, PA
Education:
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Boston University, 1983; M.F.A., Cornell University, 1992
Website:
http://www.stewart-onan.com

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